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Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath in Barra is to receive a special tree from The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) “Tree of Trees” which stood tall as a message of hope, regeneration and optimism to the nation as part of the Platinum Jubilee weekend celebrations in June 2022.

Presented by Iain Macaulay, Western Isles Lord Lieutenant, the tree will be planted at 11:30 am on Friday 7 October at Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath.

The tree becomes part of the living legacy in honour of Her late Majesty, joining more than a million trees already planted across the UK as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy.

 Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath (Northbay Garden) is a vibrant social enterprise, achieving Scottish Incorporated Charitable Organisation status in 2011. The principal purpose and aim of the community Garden is to advance the care, support and training needs of adults, resident on the islands of Barra and Vatersay with physical or learning disabilities, mental health problems or substance misuse problems.

This is achieved by providing a garden space for all members of their community to volunteer regardless of assessed need or physical ability.  The organisation delivers its activities through volunteering from their therapeutic garden site in Northbay.

Iain Macaulay, Western Isles Lord-Lieutenant said “Although criteria was provided as a guide to support nomination bids, you will appreciate, with only one tree to allocate, this hasn’t been an easy task.

"In the end, I concluded that Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath on Barra most strongly met the criteria and is ideally placed to nurture the tree.

"Awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2019, they are an inclusive organisation; support a group of disabled clients in the open garden, polytunnels and the café, as well as supporting those with mental health problems and experiencing isolation.

"In addition to growing flowers and vegetables for planting on, they also have shrubs, bushes and trees and provide summer floral tubs which are popular with local groups and businesses. Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath is a successful, well run community facility , providing much appreciated services for locals and visitors and  I am sure they will be excellent custodians of the Jubilee tree, on behalf of the Western Isles”

Angie Foster, speaking on behalf of Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath said “It is a great honour to be included in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Green Canopy celebrations.  This is even more poignant in view of recent events.  The late Queen had a special affinity with the Southern Isles, often landing on Vatersay for a picnic from the Royal Yacht Britannia.

"Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath joins over 300 organisations from across the UK who were recently announced by the QGC as recipients of these special trees in The Queen’s name, which are gifted in a pot embossed with Her Majesty’s cypher. We are thrilled to be chosen for our contribution to the Barra & Vatersay community”

 

Extending a warm welcome to the Lord Lieutenant on his first official visit to Barra, Betty McAtear,Vice Lord-Lieutenant  said, “ I was delighted to hear that the tree allocated to the Western Isles was coming to Barra, especially as it has now taken on the additional significance as a lasting legacy to The late Queen. The Gàradh is an ideal community location and I’m confident that this tree will flourish under their care for years to come.”